Archive for the ‘DINING REVIEW’ Category

Eating out!   Leave a comment

Eating out Sept 2019 Part 1

It is no secret that I love to eat out but, unfortunately, my budget constantly says “NO!” I sort of have it under control in keeping it to Thursdays and Fridays while during ‘theatre season’ Tuesday is added to the list.
 
On Thursdays, after shopping at the $ Tree and before going to Winn-Dixie, plus the Tuesday nights when we go the theatre in Broward, we sort of eat at a ‘better’ restaurant such as the Outback, Big Louie’s and La Bonne Crepe, while theatre nights it is either the Quarterdeck or Cafe Vico.
 
Fridays, after the movies, and Tuesdays when we go to the theatre in Miami it is Denny’s at the latter and Subways or Arby’s after the former.
 
From a dessert crepe made of strawberries, bananas, vanilla ice cream topped with chocolate syrup to a turkey foot-long on herb-garlic cheese and adding cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and onions plus mustard, plus a pizza at Big Louie’s to steak and all the shrimp you can eat at Outback and a Rueban at  Arby’s I do have a varied menu of meals.
 
Oh, yes, I gave up carbonated sodas about 7 months ago so now I have lemonade at fast food places and late dinners while real coffee at lunch meals at full service restaurants.
 
The other 4-5 days I am a pretty good boy when I eat at home–well, most times!! I do make my dinners in advance on Saturdays with a basic fish or chicken dish with 2 veggies, a salad, 2 cups of yogurt and an apple. (No, we won’t talk about the carrots cakes, etc.)
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Posted September 26, 2019 by greatmartin in DINING REVIEW, FOOD, RESTAURANTS

CAO Bakery andCafe–review   Leave a comment

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Maybe the third time is a charm? Hopefully C(uban) A(merican O(originals) will make it here after they get a few kinks straightened out. First, on a positive note, I had the Cuban sandwich which, after trying Cuban sandwiches for 40 years all over South Florida, was one of the best.

That’s it when it comes to positive things except for the bright decor, the outdoor covered seating and the cakes and desserts that will make the French bakery a few blocks south envious.

Okay, they have been open a couple of weeks so there is no excuse for not having a sign either inside saying “Order Here” or have one on the center door saying “enter next door” with an arrow pointing right. I would say at least 50% of the customers entered the wrong door and went to the cashier instead of the ordering counter.

I had the Cuban Sandwich which was served on a paper plate while Allen had the pork sandwich served on a regular plate. His plate was ‘decorated’ with an orange stripe all around the sandwich while my paper plate had a bland looking sandwich on it with 0 color.I asked a guy behind the counter about prices for the slices of cake as there was none in or on the counter or on the menu and his answer was that none were above $3. I think there would have been a few surprises at the register if anyone bought a pastry—or maybe not.
PS I wonder what happens to all the slices of various cakes that they aren’t selling. Though they are in refrigerated cases after 2-3 days they would be far from tasting ‘fresh’.

Posted July 13, 2019 by greatmartin in DINING REVIEW, FORT LAUDERDALE

The “New” Quarterdeck–restaurant review   1 comment

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2 blocks west of the old  location, with trepidation, we went to the ‘new’  Quarterdeck. Though it was missing the old Key West feel of the Cordova location it was bigger, brighter and very inviting. From the greeting at the door by the hostess to the bright “Thanks for coming” as we left by our server this Quarterdeck was as friendly as the one I had been going to for over 25 years.
I had one major concern, and a couple of minor ones, but the first was answered positively when I asked if the same cooks were in the kitchen and so I ordered the Jambalaya and am happy to report it is still the best in Fort Lauderdale!!
I didn’t see any of the old staff but all the new people were a positive happy group. I couldn’t have asked for better service than what I got from Luis.

 
Though the old place had a lot of TVs the new ones here are overwhelming and I missed the aquarium but the ‘school’ of dolphins over the bar are certainly impressive.
 
The outside area is a lot bigger with many more tables for service and my main concern is what is going to happen in the rainy season now as I didn’t see any possible overhead covering.
 
I’m glad to the prices prices haven’t gone up too much and that one of my 10 top restaurants in Fort Lauderdale is still in the top 10!

By the way I wasn’t expecting it but I received a 2-4-1 email so our meal only came to  $22.45 plus a 20% tip.

Toojay’s–restaurant review   Leave a comment

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Except for our server Tiffany there really isn’t much I can say about Toojay’s. Okay it wasn’t their fault that at least 30% of the parking spots were taken up by people parking over the lines and not taking 2-3 seconds to straighten their cars out.

We were greeted and seated promptly and the place was consistently busy even though it was after ‘lunchtime’. Tiffany took our drink order with both Allen and I having diet Pepsi (fountain soda $2.89 while the canned sodas are ($1.99). Allen ordered the deli dogs with pastrami & Cole Slaw ($8.99) which comes with fries and I had the Latke Slider which said $9.79 on the menu, ($9.99 on the receipt). Allen felt the pastrami was overcooked, the slaw dry and the fries ordinary.

I really have nothing good to say about this dish! The Latke was far from ‘crunchy’ as said on the menu while the ‘fresh’ grilled sirloin was like a hockey puck, not too much cheese and too much mustard as if to give it some taste. The fried pickle was edible.

There had to be something wrong in the kitchen as 4 parties that came in after us were served before us and I saw Tiffany come in and out of the kitchen a few times, refilled our sodas without us having to ask, so obviously it wasn’t her fault. The well done pastrami and and the ‘hockey pucks’ gave me sort of an idea the cook forgot the order and either overcooked it or your guess is as good as mine!

Allen had a piece of Coconut cake ($6.69) and felt it was run of the mill so the check with tax and tip came to $37.98 with a $4.50 discount.

I have eaten at Toojay’s out west when I lived in Plantation  so I was looking forward to this new one but I am sticking to Pomperdale’s on Commercial and the New York Marina on 17th Street!


Fat Boyz BBQ–Fort Lauderdale–Restaurant Review   1 comment

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It has been a bad week for movies and restaurants! As creatures of habit, we usually go to Quarterdeck before attending a show at BPAC but they are closed while making a transfer to their newly built location so we decided to go to the newest of 4-5 restaurants that have been in this location before.

It doesn’t look much different than the last two BBQ places there and as they did at the end of their run Fat Boyz BBQ is also a fast-casual restaurant which when you are paying $15.50 plus tax seems to say that they should be full service but that’s not my main quarrel with this place.
I ordered the 5 dry rib bbq which came with 2 sides. The ribs are served on paper on a tray with the 2 sides in small plastic cups and you help yourself to plastic knives and forks and get your own soft drinks.

On the plus side is the order taker, Tatty according to the receipt, who was pleasant, told us to take our time and after paying handed us a number stand to take to the table. (That’s the first trip the customer has to take to the table, then you go for the drinks, then you go for plastic ware, etc.) Oh, by the way, there are menus around but most customers will get a crick in their neck looking up at the written menu on the board above the bar.

The ribs were good and there are 3 sauces on the table. The two sides I ordered were Cole Slaw and mac ‘n cheese. The slaw tasted as it came out of a gallon premixed bottle and, the nicest way I can put it is the mac ‘n cheese was the worst I ever tasted! It was like a ball of glue so I didn’t say anything as at least it was only a small scoop!

I wonder what will be the next food place in this location?

Miami Grill–Restaurant Review–Ft. Lauderdale   Leave a comment

The last time I went to a Miami Grill I believe it was called Miami Subs and was located on East Sunrise on a site that is now a bank so it has been quite a while and, sadly, this restaurant now on West Sunrise has probably the worse food either of us had.

For Allen to not finish his fries is unheard of but he remarked had bad they were not to mention that his ‘chicken wings’ were the size of a marble engulfed in a heavy breading.

I had the meatball sub–well there were 3 round tasteless things in an absolutely oblong of tastelessness what I think was supposed to be bread.

The only nice thing I can say about the place was the woman behind the counter was pleasant.

DoughBoys Pizzeria & Italian Restaurant Review—and sobriety!!   5 comments

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If I’m not mistaken it was in March of 2015 that I was here last. Though I am a man of habit I am not rigid, pretty flexible if a change is required. As an example every Thursday I go shopping at the Dollar Tree on 17th Street, then lunch at a full-service restaurant.
For some reason (Alfredo talking about it is THE reason!) I woke up this morning wanting chicken cacciatore which I haven’t had since January 1981 when I gave up drinking alcohol. After all this time I decided I wanted to go to either Big Louie’s, Bistro Mezzaluna or Cafe Vico but riding down to 17th Street I remembered DoughBoys being in the area. Doughboys Pizzeria & Italian Restaurant has been in business for over 30 years for good reason.
They have a huge, varied menu which offers different size meals for different people. All over their menu you can see: “can serve two”, 4 different size pizzas, “mini, small, large” Calzones and Stromboli’s, 2 different size wraps, ‘half and whole’ subs, cups and bowls of soups, ‘huge’ salads, ‘Smaller versions by specific request only’. They have 19 different categories of food such as Italian Specialties, Combination Entrees, Seafood, Fresh Pasta, Homemade Pasta–okay I don’t know if the fresh pasta is different from the homemade pasta but that’s for another day. They have everything BUT NO CHICKEN CACCIATORE!!
Instead of leaving we decided to stay. With all the above the food doesn’t disappoint and things run fairly smoothly I remembered why I haven’t been there in 4 years! I prefer going there after 5 PM instead of for lunch. The exact same menu is offered for lunch, dinner and late night bites BUT you don’t get table service for lunch. You line up at the counter, give your order, pay and then wait for your name to be called. I don’t understand why it is full price at both the evening and day time but not the full service.
I had their chicken Sophia (small $15.50 which surprised me as for $2 I could have had the larger one! It is a baked chicken cutlet topped with ricotta, pepperoni, ham and sausage covered with sauce and mozzarella. Though it was supposed to be baked the cutlet certainly tasted fried. In any case, I don’t think anything would have satisfied except–yeah, you know what. It was a large portion and served with a large salad and big portion of spaghetti along with a fresh salad All were certainly enough to be shared by two though Allen got his own which was a White Albacore Tuna Antipasto (small one for $9.95). My only major complaint was the lack of full service.
The folks behind the counter were friendly but it was lunchtime with people lined up to order and dirty tables all around with their looking/acting a little ‘in the weeds’ . Though there is no way of knowing it you are expected to clean up your own table as you would in most fast food places the staff does that with the dishwasher helping. Parking is free but if you don’t know the area chances are you will wind up having to make a U-turn if you are driving east as chances are you will go right by the end of the shopping plaza they are in. Going west it will come up surprisingly so you might find yourself taking a last minute right turn.
The cry of most restaurants is “Location, location, location” and after 30 years Doughboys proves that isn’t a must just as they show cutting back on service along with small inconsistencies doesn’t discourage business. (I still haven’t had my chicken cacciatore but writing this I realize I am celebrating 38 years of sobriety–hurrah for me!)

 

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